Arrive into Nairobi Airport, where you are met after passing through customs and immigration and transfer to the your lodge overnight. The Emakoko is a family-owned and run lodge artfully built into the side of a valley on the Mbagathi River, which borders the Nairobi National Park, a mere 20 minute transfer from both airports in Nairobi city.
On day 2, enjoy breakfast at your hotel then head out for an exceptional wildlife experience at an elephant and rhino orphanage and sanctuary for endangered giraffes. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is the most unique elephant & rhino relocation program in the world. Based in Nairobi, The Sheldrick Trust opens its doors to the public to view the orphans between 11 am to 12 pm. You will have lunch at the Karen Blixen Estate and visit the museum there before visiting The Giraffe Center, home to the endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe. The center gives visitors a chance to interact with the giraffes. Both the Sheldrick Trust and Giraffe center allow visitors to get up close and personal with these incredible creatures, an absolute must for anyone passing through Nairobi. We have included lunch at Karen Blixen Coffee Gardens and this afternoon you will be transferred back to your lodge for the rest of the day at leisure. If you would like, you are welcome to join an afternoon game drive in Nairobi National Park with one of The Emakoko’s excellent camp guides.
This morning you will be transferred to Wilson Airport to meet the scheduled light aircraft flight to Lewa Reserve, where a guide and vehicle from your lodge will meet you at the airstrip. Spend the next few days exploring the private 65,000 acre wildlife conservancy of the Lewa Wilderness Trust. The conservancy is home to about 10 percent of Kenya’s black rhino population, and the single largest population of Grevy’s zebra in the world. Lewa re-invests all the profits generated from tourism (including profits from Lewa Safari Camp) into its core programs. When you visit Lewa, you will help thousands of people from different backgrounds and cultures to improve their lives, and give their children a future, at the same time as ensuring Africa’s wildlife has a stable home.
The Conservancy is famous for its large and successful rhino population, as well as the rest of the Big Five. The excellent guides know the botany and paleontology history of the area as well as an intimate knowledge of the rhinos, cheetah and lion families and all the rest of the flora and fauna on the reserve. Explore game drives and walks with your camp guide and other guests staying at this camp
Maasai Walking Safari
Meet your private Maasai guides this morning and set off with the camels through the wilds on a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience. This safari’s unique strength lies in the fact it can unlock parts of the soul that a traditional safari cannot, simply because by its very nature no two walks can be the same. Each and every walk belongs to those on that particular journey.Your route takes you through one of Kenya’s best wildlife viewing habitats – the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. This area provides some of the most stunning landscapes in Africa and are home to a wide variety of game including the “Big Five” (Rhino, Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo), over 420 species of birds, Reticulated Giraffe, Cheetah, numerous different antelopes, and endangered species such as the Grevy’s Zebra. You will traverse a variety of ecosystems, enabling them to experience the diversity of flora and fauna that the areas have to offer. Walking is done in the cool hours of the day from 0730 to 1200, usually four to five hours. We rest up during the heat of the day and another walk is done in the evening exploring the areas around camp.
Maasai Walking Safari
The focus of the safari is learning about the ecosystems as well as the local Maasai culture. Local Maasai morani (warriors) will join your trip along the way to give insight into traditional Maasai customs. Learn taught tracking techniques and other vital bush skills, as well as how to identify and understand the behavior of the insects, plants, and animals they come across. This is a walking safari supported by camels, however camels can be ridden when the terrain or route allows. Spend each night in your private mobile tent. All meals, local drinks, guides, camels porters and conservancy fees included.
On day 8, return your weary (but triumphant!) feet to Lewa House today and spend one more night in the comfort of your cottage.
You will be transferred this morning back to the Lewa Airstrip and take the light aircraft flight southwest to your final safari camp in the exclusive Naboisho Conservancy. Located adjacent to the Masai Mara National Reserve, this private conservancy is a ground breaking project of tourism benefiting conservation and community. With its high concentration of wildlife, and generous personal space and freedom on offer, visitors enjoy exceptional wildlife encounters.
The Mara Naboisho Conservancy in Kenya is home to the big cats – in impressive numbers – and herds of elephant, giraffe, and wildebeest. Unlike its neighbor, the Masai Mara National Reserve, this private conservancy strictly monitors the number of tourists who enter the area, reducing the number of vehicles and the human impact on the environment and wildlife. While the charm of the Mara Naboisho Conservancy is its exclusivity, the philosophy of the conservancy is refreshingly inclusive. The 50,000 acre conservancy is made up of land contributions from 500 Maasai landowners. The conservancy fees provide the Maasai community with a sustainable livelihood and ensure the conservation of the wildlife in this vital corridor of the Masai Mara eco-system.
Depart or Entebbe Extension
This morning you may have time for one last game drive before it’s time to return to the airstrip for the flight to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport. You will be met and transferred back to The Emakoko for lunch and time to relax and refresh before continuing on to the international Nairobi airport to meet your departing flights for home.
Uganda Extension: This morning you may have time for one last game drive before it’s time to return to the airstrip for the flight to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport. You will be met and transferred into town for lunch (own account) before continuing on to the international Nairobi airport for the short scheduled flight to Entebbe. Upon arrival in Uganda, you will be met and transferred to your city hotel for a late dinner and overnight at the Protea Entebbe.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
This morning you will be transferred to the regional airport for the scheduled charter flight to Bwindi, where you will be met by your private guide and taken to your lodge for lunch. This afternoon, visit the local community. Bwindi is surrounded on the Buhoma side by the Bakiga community and the Batwa people community. The walk takes about two hours and begins with a stroll through a small tea farming project. Here you can stop to meet the tea pickers and perhaps even learn how to pluck tea leaves along the way. Then visit a local beer brewery and see how they mash bananas to make a fermented brew which is mixed and distilled to make banana beer – a popular local drink in the area. From here walk a short distance to the local hospital which Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp supports through various projects. Learn about how it started and the work they do for the community. Continue your walk to a nearby village and visit a traditional medicine man. The knowledge of using herbs for healing has been passed on from generation to generation and he will show you some of the herbs that grow in the forest and talk about how they are used. Later, relax and enjoy a performance by the Batwa community before returning to the camp.
After breakfast each morning, take a short drive to Park Headquarters and meet with the excellent local guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. You then hike into the forest where the gorillas were seen the night before and track from that point. The trekking can take from 1 to 6 hours and climb to altitudes in excess of 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile; once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. Cameras and plenty of memory are recommended. It can rain at a few minutes’ notice; hence waterproof clothing is a good essential including zip lock bags or waterproof covers for camera gear.
On day 16, sadly it’s time to depart. This morning is at your leisure until it’s time to return to the airstrip for your flight back to Entebbe and on home. Breakfast.
As a native South African, safaris are in Mike's blood. While he has traveled extensively throughout Africa - 12 countries and more safaris than he can count - from Morocco to Namibia (and almost every country in between), his favorite safari experience is still in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. With 20 years in the safari industry, Mike has spent decades fostering close-knit relationships with camps, lodges and guides throughout Africa. As a true safari expert, he personally vets all African Safari Company & Expeditions safari partners in Africa.
Julia's summers as a child were spent exploring her grandparent's farm in Zimbabwe, game parks throughout the region and visiting family in South Africa. These experiences shaped her more than she could have imagined, and in her early 20s she packed her bags and headed to Zambia to manage a camp in the South Luangwa Valley. Julia returned and joined her father, Mike, at African Safari Company in 2001 assisting with special projects until she came on board as the Director of Sales in 2011.
Julia has traveled countless times to Africa: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Morocco vetting safari lodges, meeting guides and exploring game reserves and her favorite African cities (Cape Town being her top pick!). Even after venturing to so many places, she can still easily pick her favorite African safari experiences, one being Kiba Point in the Selous National Park in Tanzania. "Incredible wildlife, amazing guides, the river, sleep outs, hot springs...it has it all!" She has also visited Ecuador and the Galapagos, Peru, the Bahamas, France, Mexico and Jamaica, and is always looking for the next opportunity to explore exotic locales. While her in-depth knowledge spans East and Southern Africa, plus Morocco, we consider her to be our resident Zambia safari expert, South Africa safari expert and Tanzania safari expert. Contact Julia to plan your custom African safari today!
Isaac joined African Safari Co. & Expeditions in 2018. He has extensive experience traveling throughout Latin America and is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. While his expertise lies in the tropical paradise of of South America, he is excited to hit the ground running in discovering Africa and scouting out the most unique, and adventurous, safari experiences.
Shannon joined the company in 2015 and has since had the incredible opportunity of visiting Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Her first trip to Kenya is where she fell in love with the people, wildlife and the soul of a safari. She now managers web design & marketing for African Safari Co. & Expeditions.
Elliot joined the African Safari Co. team, and the world, in June of 2016. He begin as our official Director of Naps and has since traveled to South Africa and Guatemala and has been promoted to Vice President of chaos. Elliot is excited to continue to grow with the company, quite literally speaking, and travel the world in search of new adventures!
Bogey has been with the African Safari Co. since 2014. While he unfortunately can not travel to Africa, for a natural fear of lions, he loves being in the office and helping to keep everyone on their toes and on time for daily walks.